No, this is not yet a real cosmetics ad.
theoretical ad concept illustrates just one of many thousands
of domain names and websites that will come into existence in
late 2013 or 2014. If L'Oréal succeeds in their
application for the .beauty string, then as per the exclusivity
sought in their application, they will own not only this valuable
site, but every other one you can possibly imagine.
ownership of every single .beauty site will create an enormous
opportunity to out manoeuver all other cosmetics companies, large
and small, around the world. One company could leverage this unique
chance to dominate the beauty & cosmetics category to great
gTLDs like the .beauty string create a real risk of global
monopolies being permitted, and ICANN and its officers must take
responsibility for this.
new gTLD list of applications such as .beauty can be studied
from L'Oréal's .beauty Application:
ambition is to be an exemplary corporate citizen.
"The current best thinking involves a business model in which
generic (personal, sustainable, products,
model, cosmetics, perfumes,
etc.) and geographic (city/state) domain names would initially
be reserved/allocated to LOréal.
successful testing has been completed, LOréals
existing business units and select licensees and partners would
be allowed to register domain names in the .BEAUTY gTLD.
the fact that LOréal will have full control over
the number of registrations in the .BEAUTY gTLD namespace, LOréal
expects that the number of domain name registrations will be less
than 10,000 in the first three years of operation.
will evaluate expanding the operations of the .BEAUTY gTLD to
permit registration by other registrants outside of licensees
and strategic partners.
will assess whether its business plan and expansion strategy should
be augmented by extending registration rights to a broader class
of licensees, to potential customers of LOréal, and
to other third parties. However, it is the current intention that
LOréal would require any class of future potential
registrants to be in compliance with and legally bound by the
restrictive membership / charter criteria...
is anticipated by LOréal that changes to the domain
name industry, and particularly the impact of new generic-term
gTLDs, may take approximately five years to be realized and assessed.
Any decision to expand the gTLDs beyond corporate, licensee, and
partner use would likely be predicated by a LOréal
market analysis of both the market at the time for new gTLD registrations
and consumer adoption of these new Internet addresses.
believes that the .BEAUTY gTLD will provide a single trusted ecosystem
experience for the hundreds of millions, if not billions of LOréals
and its commercial partners existing and future consumers,
who access content through existing online, print, mobile, and
That Didn't Apply
other beauty company has applied for the .beauty domain
string and consequently they are likely to be excluded from this
high potential marketplace.
at least five years, and likely forever, big cosmetics brands
like rivals Olay, Revlon, Clinique, Avon and Nivea
will almost certainly be excluded from the dot beauty category.
not even brand plays like Olay.beauty or Avon.beauty
will be permitted to appear in the conceivable future.
By 2014 every .beauty
domain name and website may be owned by just one corporation.
one of the imaginary domains that you see listed on this page is likely
to be owned in exclusivity by just one company. Whichever fortunate
company becomes the dot beauty registry will control every imaginable
dot beauty domain in the world, without any mandated requirement by
ICANN, the internet regulator, to onsell or divest them.
has applied to become the .beauty registry, registrar and registrant.
According to their official application for a closed registry, the sites
they plan to operate in the space will initially number around 10,000.
LOréal gets .beauty, which seems very likely, it will
be able to reserve this top level domain name just for its own use.
Unlike .com, .org, .net etc, which are public TLDs, .beauty will be
a private TLD. What this means is that, for instance, Raji Curls,
a beauty salon, will not be able to ask for www.rajicurls.beauty,
as one could have in the case of .com. LOréal will have
the exclusive use of .beauty, as its private property. If LOréal
were to seek a trademark for beauty, it will be flatly
LOréal will leverage this privileged association with
a key symbolic term of our culture will be an interesting exercise
to follow. But the goldmine is there for anyone to see. It can certainly
begin by propagating the term .beauty in all its communications
and expressions. With time, demonstrating the long association, it
could also seek trademark rights on .beauty, and so will
go on the saga of how LOréal became beauty, and beauty,
lies in the domain of the highest bidder. Parminder
Jeet Singh, Executive Director, IT for Change
is seeking to exclusively own every valuable .beauty domain
in existence. Their application also states that after five years or
so, and only after serious evaluation, they may allow .beauty registrations
by third parties. (See actual excerpts from their application at left).
ownership of the dot beauty string is likely to be highly lucrative,
opening up the registry voluntarily seems unlikely. (A primary reason
is that a closed registry will be able to easily prevent fraud and spam
etc which could reduce the value of the extension).
In any case,
even if they do eventually open up the registry, L'Oréal will
already have fully exploited first mover advantage for five long years,
establishing an insurmountable portfolio of domains such as Perfect.beauty
and Timeless.beauty and Feminine.beauty and Chinese.beauty.
They will have at least five years to identify and launch their stated
ambition of around 10,000 websites. By then, they will own all the
best 10,000 beauty domain names leaving only scraps
for any competitors who still wish to venture into the space. No good
names will remain for competitors to register (with the exception
of their respective brand names).
accepted the application fee and the application is legally valid. L'Oréal
is the only cosmetics company applying for the string, and hence is
the best funded and most motivated to win their application.
of a domain string like .beauty implies large impending financial
advantages over a registry that is merely applying for non-exclusive
control. It follows that applicants for exclusive domain string ownership
have much more to gain than rivals applying for open registries. Hence
they can afford to bid much higher in cases where the domains go to
competitive auction or in any private negotiations. And they will
have a fundamental reason to do so. And so they will.
of this unfolding scenario is enormous. The possibility of unfairly
dominating this highly valuable commercial category is very real. You
can find various links to warnings by senior academics, lawyers and
others about this issue across this website. The cosmetics & beauty
industry is a highly competitive and lucrative global marketplace, yet
ICANN is permitting the premium domain space to be sold as a possible
closed registry to the highest bidder.
paying mere lip service to the idea of fairness and competitiveness.
emphasize, applicants for exclusivity have a compelling reason to bid
much higher than rivals (applying for open registries) because their
returns are likely to be many times greater. This is not a fair contest.
This is not a level playing field.
the collective value of the tiny sample of possible websites listed
on this page. The value lies not so much in the resale value of the
domain names themselves the true value lies in the future commerce
that will transpire on these sites. Imagine the shockwaves and job losses
if one sole company benefits from monopolizing every dot beauty
site in the global cosmetics industry.
appropriate sophisticated level of marketing & advertising, for
which cosmetics companies are famous, the .beauty domain extension
will likely become highly successful.
could soon become synonymous with ".beauty", while
every other cosmetics company is simultaneously shut out from this domain
stated on the Brand Domains page, while
it is impossible to trademark the word "beauty", a domain
like Flawless.beauty can become a very real virtual trademark.
Without having to pay one cent to the US Patents and Trademark Office.
is a responsible actor in society, a good neighbour and a concerned
citizen committed to the communities in which we do business."
Excerpt, L'Oréal Code of Business Ethics
is also committed to operate the .BEAUTY gTLD in accordance with its
policies on fair competition, as outlined in the LOréal
Code of Business Ethics..."
dot beauty application
respect all actors in our professional sphere, including competitors.
We treat them the way we would like them to treat us. Our position
as leader in the cosmetics industry reinforces our duty to set a good
example in this area."
Excerpt, L'Oréal Code of Business Ethics
General dot beauty
list of possible .beauty domains illustrates the formidable possibilities
and compelling potential of what's on the horizon:
The .beauty domains
in the various cosmetics, health, slimming and fitness categories also
have enormous potential.
the sheer power and advantage of owning all these lifestyle, product
and beauty domains while having all your competitors simultaneously
domains also have great brandable potential. These names are memorable
the biggest internet buzzwords is "local", and the following
types of location based websites should have great intrinsic value:
the above concepts could become a highly successful business in its
own right. And there are countless other possibilities in the dot
beauty category, hundreds of cities, thousands of suburbs and localities
that could be exploited.
NOTE: L'Oréal has also applied for the .hair (2 applicants),
.salon (4 applicants), .makeup (sole applicant) and .skin
(sole applicant) registries.
and implications described on this page about the .beauty domain
string apply with varying degrees to hundreds of other generic dictionary
words that are being applied for as domain extensions. Examining each
and every one, in particular which ones intend to be open registries
and which intend to be closed registries, is beyond the scope of this
the .beauty registry:
three applicants for the .beauty registry including L'Oréal.
The other two applicants are essentially domain companies, not cosmetics
companies. It's very difficult to see either of those having the imperative
to outbid L'Oréal for the registry who describe themselves as
the "leader in the cosmetics industry". L'Oréal has
close to 69,000 employees and 27 global brands with annual sales in
excess of €50m. They simply can't afford not to win it. They have
so much to lose if all these names fall into the hands of a competitor.
After all, L'Oréal has a commitment to shareholders to effectively
utilize their assets:
deliver long-term, sustained shareholder value by protecting and making
the most effective use of company assets."
clear that L'Oréal will vigorously protect and make effective
use of the .beauty registry.
clear that L'Oréal has far, far more to gain than its competitors
from owning the .beauty string because their applications are
for open registries.
hard to see the possible monopolistic consequences of ICANN permitting
the establishment of closed gTLDs.
read ICANN's full list of domain string applications here.
NOTE: The author has not read all the individual applications for
the above, and does not know which applicants if any are applying
for exclusive ownership of these domains. The author does not state
or imply that any of the applicants is seeking to establish a monopoly
in the wide-ranging field of "beauty". Only that it is not
expressly prohibited by ICANN's application process, and that some
of the world's largest corporations intend to acquire and implement
various gTLDs privately and exclusively as described in various application
documents. The consequences of this unprecedented scenario are unknown.